Building Hope for the Future
“Sometimes a painful breakup can take us closer to ourselves. Through a relationship loss and experiencing emotional pain, we can learn more about what it is we need and how we want to feel. A breakup can lead us to personal breakthroughs if we are open to exploring our reactions and feelings.” -Jennifer Uhrlass
Divorce is one of the most common issues facing American families today. The current divorce rate is estimated to be between 40 and 60% for those recently married and up to 10% higher for remarriages. Most divorces occur in families with children under the age of 18.
During separation and divorce, family members experience uncertainty, emotional upheaval, and changes in their family roles and rules. Family therapists can assist in the process of redefining relationships and addressing family members’ responsibilities and needs. Divorce can be complicated and messy as children and parents adjust to new circumstances. Each person in the family system is propelled to cope with these changes in the best way they know how. It can be difficult for children and adults alike.
Addressing Issues Constructively…
There are often unique challenges that can make this adjustment especially difficult. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, up to a 25% of children whose parents divorce experience ongoing emotional and behavior difficulties (as compared to 10% of children whose parents do not divorce). For adults, each partner may have many concerns —health of the children/ co-parenting arrangements, living independently, dividing assets, and also feeling burdened by the idea of starting over again when it comes to meeting someone new.
Spouses divorce each other, but they do not divorce their children. A majority of former spouses are able to establish a relatively conflict-free parenting relationship for the benefit of their children. However, about a third have difficulty in establishing a workable parenting relationship, even years after the divorce. Marriage and family therapists can be helpful to families as they formulate or define their post-divorce parenting relationships. In addition, therapy can provide a space to heal and confront relational difficulties so that you can move forward with clarity and purpose.
Therapy for divorce/ co-parenting can help you to:
- Co-parent in a constructive, healthy way
- Be mindful of your children’s emotional and developmental needs
- Feel supported as you move through the challenges associated with this major life transition
- Address concerns proactively
- Explore what happened in the relationship so you can move forward with greater awareness
- Feel supported and encouraged when starting to date again